How to extend the range of your electric car in the winter cold
The range of electric cars is significantly affected by the cold. Cold batteries mean you cannot drive as far, and in winter, electric cars also need power to heat the passenger compartment and keep the battery warm. SOS International shares three tips to optimise your electric car’s range when temperatures drop.
Although electric cars do not drive as far on one charge in winter because of the cold, you can influence how long you want a charge to last. In addition to the weather, range is affected by your driving style, speed, tyre pressure, and charging habits.
Think about where and how you drive
“The faster you drive, the more power you use. If you are driving on the motorway and the temperature is around freezing, an electric car uses about 40% more power than it would if you were driving in mixed conditions at around 20oC,” says Jeppe Damgaard, Technical Manager at SOS International in Denmark.
So, it pays to drive at a moderate speed. At the same time, it is worth bearing in mind that hard acceleration and frequent braking also have a negative impact on power consumption.
A good tip for saving your electric car’s battery during the winter is to get used to a small but effective trick when charging your car:
“Warm up the passenger compartment while the car is charging, so you do not use the battery for heating. It pays to time your charging, so you charge just before you need to drive. That way, the battery is also warmed up when you leave,” says Jeppe Damgaard.
If possible, indoor parking is better for the electric car’s battery than outdoor.
Anything that makes the engine work harder results in higher energy consumption and a shorter range.
That is why SOS International advises electric car owners to keep their tyres inflated because if the tyre pressure is too low, it results in high rolling resistance and increased energy consumption.
You can also save engine power by ensuring you do not drive around with unnecessary loads and luggage in the car.